RJ’s GDP returns to pre-pandemic level, but state economy still faces major challenges, say experts | Rio de Janeiro

After three consecutive quarters of growth, the Rio de Janeiro economy closed last year with a positive balance of 4.1%. Even so, the state still faces challenges such as an unemployment rate higher than the national average.

As a result of GDP, our gross domestic product recovered from the losses caused by the pandemic in 2020 and remained at the pre-pandemic level.

In the last three months of 2021, the economy of the state of Rio had a slight decline (-0.2%) compared to the previous period.

Even so, in the consolidated for the year, the result is one of growth. The sector that most contributed to the state’s return to growth was the construction, which grew by 6.7% in 2021 compared to the previous year. Interest on housing loans – which last year were low – helped a lot.

The federation of industries says that the sale of Cedae also gave strength to civil construction, with the concessionaires already contracting infrastructure works. More than 14,000 new vacancies were created at the construction sites.

In the manufacturing industry, the recovery was also strong, growing 6.2% compared to 2020, with the participation mainly of metallurgy, car manufacturing and medicines, despite the lack of raw materials.

After vaccination and the return of face-to-face activities, bars, restaurants, shops reopened their doors and the service sector also ended 2021 with a positive rate – up 4.4% over the previous year.

Oil and gas extraction, the activity that has the most weight in the industry, remained stable, rising only 0.3%, and did not help GDP performance much.

“What we can learn is that the expectation for 2022 is better than 2021, so we’ve made progress in preserving lives, the opening of activities has increased, so the outlook is good. On the other hand, it’s a difficult year because we don’t have there is still a more reliable view of what will impact this war in Ukraine and we also have a political year that in one way or another impacts economic activities”, says Luís Césio Caetano, acting president of Firjan.

Economist Mauro Osório explains that it is necessary to look back to better understand where Rio’s economy actually stands.

Between 1970 and 2019, the share of fuminense GDP in the national fell by 37% – no state has lost so much. Between 2014 and 2021, Brazil opened almost 730 thousand new job vacancies. In the same period, 580 thousand vacancies ceased to exist in Rio.

Currently, the state has an unemployment rate higher than the national average – 14.20% in Rio, against 11.15% in Brazil.

RJ is in 13th place in the collection of ICMS per capita, according to the number of inhabitants.

Mauro Osório explains that part of these problems is caused by the lack of infrastructure and the lack of complete production chains.

In oil, for example: Rio produces oil, but at least 70% of the suppliers of parts and services are outside the state.

“There is a proposal from Alerj to build a gas pipeline to bring gas from the high seas to Itaguaí and then you can use this gas to industrialize an area that is a productive desert. It is necessary to have diversification strategies for densifying the productive structure”, explains.

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